2/1/09

Of Virginity and Bread.




*this is how i feel making bread... mildly destructive, somewhat victorious, and not really sure what is going on.

Learning how to bake bread and a making a decent pie crust was a New Years resolution to myself. I mean I have described making bread and pie crust a lot like losing my virginity. Nerve wracking, sweaty, inexperienced. Oh, how accurate I was.

Seriously, a little bit of research on bread on the internet and you get things like; wild yeasts, bacteria, sponge, and hootch. The jokes just write themselves, especially if I tell you I kept reading sponge as spooge. See what I mean by baking is like losing your virginity? All this talk is scary and confusing. It's like listening to all of your "experienced" friends. You are really not sure who's right and who's wrong.

So tomorrow here's what I am going to do, like any good bibliophile, I am going to library and to a couple bookstores and find my Holy Grail. In the meantime, I'm using this sourdough starter recipe from A Southern Grace. It's easy and it's a good starting point. I don't want to fail the first time out and from what all these websites say making a true sourdough starter can be a time consuming and very frustrating experience. Anyways, what's a true sourdough starter?

This bread is a good starting point, you don't have to kneed it and it also needs only one rise, proof, or whatever you want to call it.



English Muffin Bread:

Yield: 2 loaves

2 cups milk

1/2 cup sourdough starter (water also works)

2 tablespoons cornmeal

6 cups of bread flour

2 packages of active dry yeast

1 tablespoon white sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Warm the milk and sourdough starter in a small saucepan to about 125 degrees. Lightly grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans: sprinkle cornmeal inside pans.

In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups of flour yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Stir milk into the flour mixture; mix well.Stir in the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until a stiff batter is formed. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool.

Serve toasted with butter, jam, or lemon curd.

On tomorrow's menu: Dark Chocolate Pie w/Pretzel Crust and the world's rudest people with questionable shoe choices. Pictures included!!!

19 comments:

ntsc said...

I lost my virginity years before I made bread, but in both cases it was simply time. I wasn't sure what I was doing, but I knew I wanted to do it. I had an experienced partner for the one, but was totally on my own for the other.

However I've never sucsessfully gotten a sour dough starter started.

I bake three breads every two weeks, a simple white is one. The other two vary with one often being an experiment.

For what it is worth, my ex-wife - who watched me bake bread for a couple of years decided, after we split, that if I could do it she could and is still baking 30+ years later.

Guiltless Glutton said...

My holy grail is The Bread Bible (fitting, isn't it?).

Kristin said...

Hey, have you ever seen the Cook's Illustrated pie crust recipe that calls for vodka? Because half the vodka is alcohol, you can add more liquid to the dough, making it easier to work with and roll out, but the excess will bake out without making the crust tough. I sort of wanted to try it, except I can't start making pies now or else I'll be expected to cook AND make pies, and I'd really rather leave the pies to my MiL. But you should try it. And then report back to me.

And then, of course, you can use the rest of the vodka to make cocktails. Bonus.

KitchenKiki said...

I love to make bread, but don't normally find the time. It is actually on my to-do list for tomorrow since I don't have to work. I have enjoyed the website ayearinbread.com they are planning to keep it going, and this year they will discuss sourdough starters. (I bought one in San Francisco when I in high school and made bread. That was before I lost my virginity, the starter died after I went to college & lost my virginity. I never realized they were related...)

Grace said...

you can do it, krysta! one difference between making bread and losing your virginity? it's okay to imagine me standing in your kitchen, rooting you on whilst making bread. :)

Cheryl said...

That looks really yummy, its on my list of things to make!

Cheryl said...

That looks really yummy, its on my list of things to make!

Mayberry Magpie said...

I can bake a simple whole-grain yeast bread like nobody's business. (And oh how I love to spank those loaves.) But I failed miserably at sourdough and never tried again.

And for the record, the first time I baked bread was soooooooooooo much better than the first time I had sex.

phillygirl64 said...

I also recommend the Foolproof Pie Crust...may not be the absolute best crust evah, but I was able to make a satisfactory crust on T-day morning after only 2 or 3 hrs of sleep...

noble pig said...

Nicely done! Pie crust and bread are scary but exhilarating. This sounds and looks like it was fun and yummy.

Snooty Primadona said...

Mr. Snoots loves English muffins, so I know I'm going to have to try making this bread.

Love it with the Brie...

Lisa said...

I know what you mean. I only started making pie crusts last March. The project began as a rather embarrassing disaster but ended with some degree of success and a delicious quiche. I did use the vodka recipe and liked it.

Bread seems easier to me. I like the physical effort of kneading and I find the directions easier to follow, more obvious. Still simplicity has its virtues. Your English Muffin Bread looks tasty!

Mila said...

Krysta...I just noticed your quote by Gael Green...that's one of my favorites too!

Your virginal bread baking story is hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

SaintTigerlily said...

The few times I've made bread it has been so gross...I'm a little scared. Yours looks lovely - as usual. There is something sort of mythical about being able to make bread - I have the envy.

coffee and queso said...

way to conquer your fears, girl: you...ca-hn--DO IT!

ps, english muffin bread looks great. mmm... english muffins.

Sippity Sup said...

The more I read the more I smile. But I have to admit I am often at a loss for words. Which is a bit out of character for me! GREG

Meg said...

Hmmm. Good bread and pie crust, like good sex, takes a little practice. The first time is rarely the best time.
On a different note, good pie will bring the kids into line amazingly fast. "No chores? NO PIE." It's awesome.

melissa said...

Hey, you're trying to achieve your goals! I remember your answer about that on the Monthly Mouthful.

He he. Spooge.

Go figure - I listened to Art of Noise in high school, thanks to that boyfriend I mentioned. He was a drummer and loved their beats composition. They were pretty cool.

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